HONOLULU — Hawai’i Pacific University (HPU) today unveiled a revitalized new athletics brand and its athletics program will move forward as the “Hawai’i Pacific University Sharks.” With collaborative insights from HPU students, coaches, alumni, faculty, Hawaiian culture consultants and members of the community, the brand unifies HPU athletics’ primary logo, mascot font, logo type and monogram with the university’s identity and honors the cultural significance of the shark to the islands.
“Our brand captures the unique strength, spirit and drive of the HPU athletics program, while honoring our island home,” said Vince Baldemor, executive director of athletics at HPU. “This marks an exciting new era for HPU athletics and it’s our hope that this new look will inspire our fans, students, and community to join us as we ‘go the distance’ for our university.”
“Athletics play an integral role here at HPU and we have a deep respect for the impact that athletics can have on the education and character of the students who participate, as well as by bringing our HPU community together,” said Dr. Geoffrey Bannister, president of HPU. “The new athletics marks are a forward bite for the Sharks and the university as a whole.”
Kupuna-in-residence and HPU assistant professor of anthropology, Lynette Cruz, was an integral part of the rebranding process to ensure the new identity would be respectful of the shark, a Native Hawaiian ‘aumakua (family god) and symbol of strength, pride, and respect.
“I love the new logo. The new mascot embodies a competitive spirit, because the goal is to do the best that you can and win, as a shark would,” said Cruz. “This new logo and name is going to be an image that inspires us to do the best that we can do.”
Osaki Creative Design was hired to lead, develop and design the logo and reported to a committee of stakeholders led by Baldemor. Interviews were conducted with students, student-athletes, faculty, staff, coaches, alumni, faculty and donors to establish who HPU Athletics is, opinions on past and current logos, and how the university and athletics are connected. The final design was the collective result of seven months, hundreds of interviews and more than twenty versions.
The logo was inspired by the impact of the Pacific on Hawaiian culture and lifestyle, and the traditional Native Hawaiian ‘aumakua. The shark symbolizes HPU’s focus and purpose, strength and balance. This athletics logo demonstrates the University’s sense of Hawai’i pride and its place in the Pacific. Accents of the shark refer to the University logo, inspired by the vast Pacific Ocean that surrounds the state, a visual identity that synchronizes movement forward and openness towards future possibilities.
“Many know that Athletics is the front porch of the University,” added Baldemor. “It allows the community and University to connect at events, it provides great exposure both locally and nationally when the teams compete, it provides the opportunity for students to become valued leaders in the community, and most importantly, it provides school pride and unity for the university system.”
Fan gear featuring the new logo and ‘Sharks’ name will be available at the HPU bookstore in September and available on its website at www.hpu.bncollege.com. Fans can also purchase apparel by joining the athletics booster club and becoming a member of the SHARKS club. For a link to the booster club, view the new brand identity in its entirety, and more information about HPU Athletics, visit www.hpu.edu/sharks.
Sharks fans can also join the conversation by visiting HPU Athletics on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HPUAthletics or on Twitter @HPUSharks and using the hashtag #GoTheDistance.